DirecTV, Paxson Reach Deal

DirecTV Inc. and Paxson Communications Corp. reached a long-term agreement that will reduce the number of the broadcaster’s TV stations the direct-broadcast satellite provider carries, according to officials familiar with the situation.

Although DirecTV will no longer offer Paxson stations in 35 markets, viewers in those areas will still see the broadcaster’s programming via the Paxson national feed that the DBS company will still deliver.

A formal announcement on the deal is expected later this week.

DirecTV and Paxson spent the past few months trying to settle a dispute over the broadcaster’s changes in programming. The DBS operator sued Paxson in January over its programming changes, alleging that they violated the content provisions of their carriage deal.

Paxson renamed its Pax TV network, formerly PaxNet, i: Independent Television. The company is looking to change its corporate name to Ion Media Networks, subject to shareholder approval, June 23. But it has been sued over its name change by another company.